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DOE Shines $21M on Advanced Lighting Research

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the bright-ideas dept.

Power 238

coondoggie writes to mention that the US Department of Energy is planning to fork over close to $21 million for 13 projects promising to advance solid-state lighting research and development. "SSL lighting is an advanced technology that creates light with considerably less heat than incandescent and fluorescent lamps, allowing for increased energy efficiency. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, SSL uses a semi-conducting material to convert electricity directly into light, which maximizes the light's energy efficiency, the DOE said in a release. Solid-state lighting encompasses a variety of light-producing semi-conductor devices, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). "

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SSL (5, Funny)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410624)

OK, so the light is encrypted?

Re:SSL (1)

dippitydoo (1134915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410644)

Can we get the key for it? I need lights man!!

Re:SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22410678)

No, its doubly bright.

Re:SSL (5, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410682)

Only when you keep it on a flash drive.

Re:SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22410722)

Wow, moded offtopic. Quick, tell the comedy police - we'll have non of this frivolity thank you

Parent is a joke (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410802)

What happened, mods? Encrypt your sense of humor and lose the key? This is why encryption is dangerous!

Re:Parent is a joke (0, Flamebait)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410972)

No, modding him down is exactly the right thing to do. Do you *really* want the MPAA to hear about that? How'd you like to wake up one day and learn that your bionic eyes didn't get the decryption key for today's light because you have unauthorized files?

Until you shine it on a black hat (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410884)

then it becomes visible

Re:SSL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22410900)

Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "I see the light!"

Re:SSL (3, Funny)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411444)

Yup.

And you have to accept a new SSL certificate whenever you change the lightbulb.

Re:SSL (1)

big_spaz (1238986) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411702)

Yes, and although they use less energy thus saving money the license required to decrypt the light is insanely expensive.

Re:SSL (1)

Jester998 (156179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411706)

How else are they going to put DRM on it? Bloody lightbulb pirates!

Incandescent lights arent the problem. (-1, Offtopic)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410648)

Its all of us reading slashdot with its white background. Didnt you learn from blackle.com ?

Re:Incandescent lights arent the problem. (1)

Thornburg (264444) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411092)

The funny thing about blackle is that so many people are using LCD monitors (or laptops with built-in LCD displays), which draw the same amount of power regardless of the colors on the screen. Perhaps LED backlighting will help alleviate this problem, but traditional LCD displays must have the backlight on any time there is a single non-black pixel on the screen.

If you really wanted to save energy, blackle would need to blank the display, and only bring it back after your search results appear. Even then, it would only be saving a minuscule amount of energy unless the entire world used it.

Save energy: don't send so much light into space (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410652)

One would think that the government would encourage energy saving by ensuring cities weren't shining so much light up at the sky where it hardly does any good. I mean, just see Mizon's Light Pollution [amazon.com] about not only how it has ruined astronomy, but how it's simply wasteful as well. But I imagine the energy lobby, who continues to fool the public into thinking that the more light street lamps produce the better, maintains its influence.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22410688)

I thought about this the last time I was flying across the country at night. "Why am *I*, at almost six miles up, able to see all these street lights and parking lots and malls and houses? What a waste of energy."

Seriously, we need to think about our light placement and usage.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411512)

Seriously, we need to think about our light placement and usage.


Lit streets and parking lots are a matter of public safety. There's nothing wrong with it.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411758)

I don't know what an "answer" to it is, but I think everyone's point is that lit *streets*, visible from the ground, are a good thing. Streets lit such that they're visible from space though, is probably overkill.

This isn't remotely realistic, but having every steet enclosed and made of a reflective substance on the interior would mean light keeps bouncing around where we want it, instead of disappearing off into space. We would need much less lighting to illuminate streets if that was the case.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410706)

There is already a Dark Skies Initiative program in my area, and many areas, which makes light pollution a government regulated issue to begin with. It has little to do with energy policy so you can put away your "energy lobby" conspiracy theories.

=Smidge=

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (5, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410764)

There's even studies that show a lot of lighting does NOT deter crime. All it does is let the crook see what he's doing.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411110)

There's even studies that show a lot of lighting does NOT deter crime. All it does is let the crook see what he's doing.

The studies I saw were about all street lighting. Street lighting creates plenty of shadows near houses as does improper home lighting. I see nothing that says, that proper home lighting doesn't help, but I also rarely see such lighting. It's amazing how many times you see "security" lighting which only illuminates the law. Are they scared someone will steal the grass?

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (4, Interesting)

robertjw (728654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411234)

Interesting. Do you have any references for properly lighting your home for maximum crime deterrence?

I have a streetlight right in front of my house, but have still had a couple minor criminal incidents.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411712)

Well, I was speaking more about street and public lighting in commercial areas. They thought one of the factors was that a crook has to use a flashlight, and that's noticeable.

I'd like to see your sources (1)

siesindallerscheisse (1238976) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411716)

I have several that disagree, and several that are contradictory.

Also, why are you assuming that "does not deter" automagically helps the crook "see what he is doing"? I didn't see a single study that supported that idea, and many that rebutted it.

http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/crime.html [britastro.org]

Why the hyperbole? (0, Flamebait)

FUCK-U-MODS (1238216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410828)

"I mean, just see Mizon's Light Pollution [amazon.com] about not only how it has ruined astronomy"

WHAT WHAT WHAT!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_space_telescope [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_Observatory [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keck_telescopes [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Astronomical_Observatory [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranal_Observatory [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RATAN-600 [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bank_Telescope [wikipedia.org]

How come no one told these guys astronomy was "ruined"?

Light pollution makes things harder, but nothing is "ruined" as you cliam. I only bring this up because seeing rampant hyperbole like your modded up pisses me off and requires an honest, non-hyperbolic refutation.

Re:Why the hyperbole? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410866)

My fault, I missed specifying amateur astronomy. The links you have provided are to professional observatories.

Re:Why the hyperbole? (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411546)

It certainly ruins naked-eye astronomy. I still remember the first time I was far enough away from city lights that I could look up and see how breathtaking the sky is on a clear night. In a city you see a couple of stars, even when the moon's not up and forget about the constellations.

It makes me sad to realize that so many people will grow up and never realize how fsking *AMAZING* a sky full of stars is when they can see it with their own eyes, wonder what's out there, be drawn to astronomy, physics, even poetry and literature. The current state of night skies above our cities is anything but inspiring, in my not so humble opinion . . .

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (4, Interesting)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410840)

There are also studies linking light pollution to increases in breast cancer. On the face of it, might seem a little whacky, but basically the theory is, light at night causes decreased endogenous melatonin production (it doesn't take much light to cause a significant drop in melatonin production) Melatonin is a strong anti-oxidant that they theorize helps keep breast cancer in check. Anyway, that's the current theory to explain the studies.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (2, Funny)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410976)

I thought Dihydrogen Monoxide was a contributing factor to breast cancer.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411226)

I've heard it has been banned already in some states.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411290)

Contributing factor? In every single case of breast cancer, the woman had consumed so much dihydrogen monoxide that their bodies were composed of 70% of the stuff! Also, women who discontinue the use of dihydrogen monoxide never die from breast cancer.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411494)

Oh man, don't tell me that! Dihydrogen Monoxide is my second favorite beverage, and what's worse, there's a lot of Dihydrogen Monoxide in beer too.

Damn, I guess I need to switch to whiskey. There's not nearly as much in it.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411616)

I find your views intriguing, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter .

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411342)

Yeah, but then there are the studies that show 90% of studies are bunk...

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (2, Funny)

Adriax (746043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411422)

I'm doing a study on the study of studies. Would you care to quote on that study?

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

rand(coward) (1134517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411392)

Mention in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] with sources, for the lazy.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (3, Funny)

bannerman (60282) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411584)

Are you suggesting that women need to expose their breasts to the light more often? Interesting...

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410870)

An increased cost of energy after a certain usage point will fix this problem by itself, but it'd be too unpopular for any elected official to implement they way things currently are. Also, there's the issue that light bounces, so shine a light down and it'll still reflect back up. The only way to prevent that is to absorb it, which just transform it into heat waste (which is worse). Most lights that point up do so for a reason, such as guiding airplanes - I don't think you're suggesting that we do away with those. Although, no planes would mean more trains and a more efficient means of travel. Who am I kidding? Americans would just drive cross country in their SUVs instead.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411606)

Also, there's the issue that light bounces, so shine a light down and it'll still reflect back up.


No problem. Just make streets out of the darkest material yet created [slashdot.org] .

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411172)

There are low light pollution lights for outdoor environmental lighting. The feds should give grants to cities that deploy such systems.

Re:Save energy: don't send so much light into spac (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411534)

"Hello lamppost. What'cha knowing? I've come to watch your.... power flowing,"

- C. Montgomery Burns, [2F16] [snpp.com]

SSL lighting (3, Funny)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410676)

Do you use SSL lighting to illuminate an ATM machine that is connected to a VPN network?

Re:SSL lighting (1)

travisd (35242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410724)

Do they use the DHCP Protocol on that network?
Can I take my car with the CVT Transmission to buy SSL Lighting?

Re:SSL lighting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411682)

Solid State Lighting Lighting? You need to re-learn your AA BB CC's god god dammit dammit.

Re:SSL lighting (3, Insightful)

curunir (98273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411746)

There's actually a pretty good rationale for saying the last word of an acronym...it makes what you're saying unambiguous.

For example, without those trailing words, you could have been talking about an encryption technology (Secure Sockets Layer) illuminating a network layer (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) connecting to a branch of the Vietnamese military (Vietnam People's Navy).

Sure the last one is a bit of a stretch, but there are a ton of acronyms that get re-used that can end up being ambiguous. If I say SOA architecture or SOA authority, it's clear whether I'm using marketing-speak or whether I'm talking about configuring a DNS system (which itself, without the trailing "system" could have been referring to a computational fluid dynamics simulation).

You can only really leave off the trailing word when there is either no other possible meaning for the acronym (e.g. SCUBA) or when the context in which you're speaking precludes any other meaning (context being both the people you're speaking with and the rest of what you're saying).

Color Issues?? (1)

clonan (64380) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410730)

The last I heard there wasn't a very good "White" LED.

Does anyone have a good lreference to the current sate-of-the-art?

Re:Color Issues?? (3, Informative)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411128)

There are no good white basketball players...

Oh, sorry, I had a top secret flashback for a moment. White LEDs, iirc, are essentially fluorescent light sources which use the LED to stimulate emission in several bands based on the phosphors used. As such, they are still discrete (though not monochromatic) frequency lights and cannot creat and exact replica of incandescent (i.e. blackbody) radiation. I've not seen much on LED CRIs or color temps...most people are just so amazed that they produce "white" light that they don't seem to care. White LEDs, as a result of how they work, are only about 1/2 as efficient per watt as their more efficient monochromatic counterparts.

Re:Color Issues?? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411230)

darn... so rather than 1 watt of energy usage I use 2 watts... forget it then, I will stick with my 15 Watt CFL or my 60 watt ICL

Re:Color Issues?? (3, Informative)

MasterC (70492) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411780)

As such, they are still discrete frequency lights and cannot creat and exact replica of incandescent (i.e. blackbody) radiation.
However, that is irrelevant due to the biology of our eyes. IOW, it doesn't matter if you see light of a violet frequency or, instead, a combination of red and blue (aka purple). Really, the LED needs to just mimic the spectral sensitivity [wikipedia.org] (570nm, 540nm, & 430nm) of our cone cells [wikipedia.org] . This means we don't need actual white light (frequencies ranging from red to violet) to have white light insofar as our eyes care.

And, no, LEDs are not fluorescent. Fluorescent bulbs stimulate mercury to emit UV light. The UV light hits the phosphorus which makes it fluoresce and produce visible light. LEDs work by jumping electrons across a band gap and a photon is emitted when it jumps back down. The high efficiency comes into play because it doesn't take much more energy than that of the band gap to make an electron jump.

Re:Color Issues?? (1)

Erioll (229536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411548)

I don't know about state-of-the-art, but the Light up the World [lutw.org] foundation has been using high-efficiency white LEDs for a few years now in 3rd-world country lighting projects. Their website may have more info on exactly how their technology compares to what's "bleeding edge" current in this area. But regardless, White LEDs (WLEDs on their site) definitely exist and are in-use.

From the (2, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410750)

Solid State SSL Lighting, from the Department of redundancy department.

Re:From the (1)

NC-17 (411446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411028)

Pah! The Department of redundancy department? We're the Redundant department of redundancy!
Solidarity, brother...

Re:From the (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411260)

Solid State SSL Lighting, from the Department of DRD Redundancy Department.

FTFY

Re:From the (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411776)

Solid State SSL Lighting, from the Department of redundancy department.
Bah, beat me to it. In related news, be sure to check out the DRD Departments other fine products, including PIN Numbers, and TCP Protocol.

Can't beat incandescents (3, Insightful)

kovo (1238844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410758)

I believe the luminous efficacy (lumens per watt, light per power invested) of solid state lamps still lags that for incandescents or arc lamps. So, I don't thing the "maximizes the light's efficiency" thing in the article is really accurate. SSL is great for neat things like integration into building materials, though. Or making traffic lights with a low probability of burning out.

Re:Can't beat incandescents (1)

kovo (1238844) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410852)

Oops, did I say incandescents, I meant fluorescents.

Re:Can't beat incandescents (4, Informative)

GregPK (991973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410934)

The best flourescent out there gets roughly 70 lumens per watt. LED's have already passed the 100 lumens per watt barrier.

Re:Can't beat incandescents (1)

dstar (34869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411522)

Does this take into account the fact that LEDs are extremely directional?

Fluorescent have mercury == bad (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411062)

You should handle fluorencents as toxic waste. This makes them hard to deal with in regualr household/office waste streams.

LEDs might have heavy metals in them but this is well encapsulated and amortized over a far longer lifetime (100k hours vs 10k hours).

Re:Fluorescent have mercury == bad (2, Informative)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411412)

Home Depot and Ikea offer free fluorescent (tube and CFL) recycling. Of course, you still have to handle the bulbs properly during use and recycling, and I'm assuming that recyclers can recover a large portion of the mercury.

Re:Fluorescent have mercury == bad (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411458)

*bullshit*

Today's fluorescents have less mercury than that bluefin sushi you just ate for lunch.
-nB

Re:Fluorescent have mercury == bad (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411566)

Also, an incandescant running on coal-fired electricity spews out far more mercury into the atmosphere than a CFL "twirly bulb" has in it PLUS the mercury from the coal.

Re:Fluorescent have mercury == bad (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411652)

Yeah, and millions of them going to the dump each year won't raise the levels in your drinking water supply at all.... Individually they have small amounts, but in aggregate they are potentially a large source of environmental mercury. Of course coal power plants dwarf them, so the reduction in coal being burned probably offsets the amount going into the waste bulbs. Ideally you have an LED light that lasts a decade or longer which is what this article is about. There's still waste in the manufacturing process but it's concentrated and so easier to deal with.

What rubbish (4, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410990)

LEDs are far more efficient than incandescent. I have an LED/incandescent flashlight that lasts far longer in LED mode than incandescent mode but is not quite as bright. ie. Led brightness * LED time far greater than incandescent brightness * incandescent time.

Re:Can't beat incandescents (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411446)

Actually, the two biggest problem (and there are other problems out there) is heat management and cost. Incandescents and fluorescents radiate heat out of the luminare whereas LED's conduct most of the waste heat. The current Edison socket infrastructure are thermal insulators, so you either need large heat sinks or a completely new fixture. So if designers start changing fixtures then there is always the question of AC vs. DC powering of the fixture.

An even better lighting technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22410760)

From http://www.blacklightpower.com/applications.shtml [blacklightpower.com] ,

The power from the BlackLight Process forms a plasma (a hot, glowing, ionized gas) that represents a primary light source as well as a primary energy source in the form of heat. Systems have been developed that harness the power primarily as light. Prototype lighting devices comprising a cell similar to a conventional light bulb but containing a catalyst of the BlackLight Process as well as a source of atomic hydrogen have produced thousands of times more light for input power using 1% the voltage compared to standard light sources. Projected into a product, these results indicate the possibility of a light that could deliver the power of conventional fluorescent and incandescent lighting, but operate off of a flashlight battery for a year without an electrical connection.

suckered! (3, Informative)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411114)

Blacklight Power is a well-known combination of perpetual-motion and pyramid scams.

Re:suckered! (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411488)

To be fair they claim 1% of the voltage, not 1% of the energy...
Technically they could be drawing 1.1V at 1,000,000 amps and not be lying.
-nB

$21M paltry sum for such a large energy concern (3, Interesting)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410778)

Don't get me wrong, any amount they can put into this research is a good thing, but on the scale of things compared to funds they put elsewhere, it seems rather low to me. This is an area that needs significant changes soon, but unfortunately it looks like we're going to get incremental adoption of more fluorescents first.

It's astonishing to me that the energy and environmental problems are so obvious, but so little effort is put into the solutions.

Re:$21M paltry sum for such a large energy concern (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411130)

I hope the 'dropinthebucket' tag refers to your point, rather than cynically suggesting that LEDs and other SSL technologies wouldn't make a massive difference in energy consumption worldwide. They would.

it's not a large concern (3, Insightful)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411322)

According to government data [doe.gov] , only about 9% of the household electricity used in the United States is used for lighting. Most household electricity goes to refrigeration, water heating, air-conditioning, space heating, clothes drying, and so forth. That's why electricity usage spikes in the summer and in hot weather.

For that matter, only about 20% of our entire energy usage is represented by electricity, the rest being direct use of thermal energy (i.e. burning stuff like oil and gas) in factories, home heating furnaces, and in cars, trucks and railroad engines.

So overall the amount of our energy usage that goes to household lighting is 0.09 x 0.20 = about 2% of our total energy usage. If you manage to make lighting that is, say, 10 times more efficient than incandescent, then you will replace 2% with 0.2%, for a grand savings of 1.8%. Not impressive.

Re:it's not a large concern (1)

mapsjanhere (1130359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411670)

World annual oil consumption is something like 27 billion barrels. 1.8% of that is about 500,000,000 barrels, or 50,000,000 tons, or some 100 supertankers full. Seems rather impressive to me.

The Real Questions (5, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410796)

The real questions are:

Where do I buy them now?

Do they fit into my regular sockets, including BR30 form factors?

Will they give me at least as much focused light?

How much do they cost?

How long do they last?

How much better than fluorescents?

Are they dimmable?

Are they protected against lightening strikes near by?

What toxic materials do they contain?

Will they let me adjust for the color balance I desire (a highly desirable feature)?

Who is exploited in their manufacture, and which country is getting all my money from them?

Going to a new lightening system is seldom as simple as unscrewing one and screwing in another. Many trade-offs exist.

Re:The Real Questions (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411048)

Where do I buy them now

EarthLED Light Bulbs [thinkgeek.com] which are more efficient, last longer, use less energy, and are greener to produce than even CFLs (which are greener than incans).

Do they fit...

Yes!

... as much ... light?

Yes! I own two (would own more but see price). etc. etc. Read the page, it answers your questions. They are dimmable, etc. etc.

Re:The Real Questions (1)

marcop (205587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411500)

These may put out as much light, but it seems as if the light would be concentrated. The link mentions as much light as a 100W bulb. Does this mean as much light in a 1 sq-ft area as a 100W bulb, or as many lumens as a 100W bulb but concentrated in a much narrower beam?

Re:The Real Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411180)

Mod parent up

Re:The Real Questions (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411276)

Now you're a real /.er, not even reading the title. I salute you.

This is an article about money being allocated for future research. Ergo, they're not making them yet and really don't know their capabilities, much less price.

You forgot..... (1)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411286)

Do they run Linux?

Excellent Points (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411520)

I've always wanted to know the pollution concerns myself. Add to that:

- The cost of manufacture and disposal of SSL fixtures vs incandescent bulbs, at the scale of production for incandescent bulbs.

If we wind up with something that is more efficient in the socket, but three times as energy expensive cradle to grave, then watt's* the point?

(* so sorry)

Re:The Real Questions (1)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411638)

A bit of searching would provide answers to many of your questions.

Where do I buy them now?
There are definitely some suppliers out there, depending on what exactly you are looking for. Here's one site that I've come across before: http://www.ccrane.com/lights/led-light-bulbs/index.aspx [ccrane.com]

Do they fit into my regular sockets, including BR30 form factors?
I don't know about BR30, but it seems like most standard sockets are available. I don't think the form factor is a significant constraint with SSL.

Will they give me at least as much focused light?
As much as what? You'd have to compare specs, but I think for now it depends on how much you're willing to spend. I suspect improving this sort of thing is part of the object of this research project.

How much do they cost?
How long do they last?
See the information on the web page linked above for an example.

How much better than fluorescents?
Better in which way? Again, I think you'd have to compare specs, and decide for yourself.

Are they dimmable?
Yes, some definitely are.

Are they protected against lightening strikes near by?
What toxic materials do they contain?
Good questions...I'm too lazy to look for answers though. Maybe work from the proposed project will help shed light on these (no pun intended). WRT to the chemicals, have you had that same question answered about all the other tech products you use regularly? There's lots of poisonous stuff around us, but as long as you don't stick the stuff in your mouth, you're probably fine. I suspect the same generally applies to SSL.

Will they let me adjust for the color balance I desire (a highly desirable feature)?
I imagine that can be done (e.g., my mp3 player has an OLED display, which inherently does what you're describing, though it certainly doesn't light up a room).

Who is exploited in their manufacture, and which country is getting all my money from them?
This is also an important question. My bet would be some poor/marginalized communities in various developing countries. But has that sort of problem stopped you from buying cellphones, computers, and other such tech? What about that sweater you're wearing, or your shoes? While nobody likes the idea of exploitation, how sure is the average person that nobody was exploited in the production the products they use every day?

As for where the money goes, my bet would be on some large corporation, probably in America (but if a corporation controls the money, does it really matter what country it is in?).

Going to a new lightening system is seldom as simple as unscrewing one and screwing in another. Many trade-offs exist.
This is true...certainly in the short-run. I think this is point of doing the research though - to overcome the trade-offs that currently exist in order to advance the usability of more efficient SSL technologies.

So (1)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410800)

This really uh shines some light onto what the DOE is all about eh? *sigh*..

DoE ACTUALLY doing energy work (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410854)

I'm just happy to see the Department of Energy doing something other than nuclear stockpile maintenance.

Not so much research (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410888)

As production capacity and demand. If they really wanted to speed the adoption of LED lighting they would use that $21M to buy LED lights for government offices. Even better would be a law requiring the government use energy efficient lighting technology, that would provide for large orders and a guaranteed market which will lead the market to fill the need. It would have the benefit of reducing energy waste by the largest employer and landlord in the world.

Re:Not so much research (2, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411370)

They already use fluorescents, which are more efficient than any commercially available LED I have seen. Note the "commercially available" part.

Unsigned (2, Funny)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22410998)

What happens if I self sign my light SSL certificate, am I susceptible to a man-in-the-way-of-my-light attack?
In other news, Alice and Bob figure out how to screw in a lightbulb.

Re:Unsigned (1)

Quadraginta (902985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411440)

am I susceptible to a man-in-the-way-of-my-light attack?

Sound like you need one of these [scopestuff.com] .

Re:Unsigned (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411484)

Unforunately Alice and Bob are unable to screw in the lightbulb and call in the help of the technician, Eve.

Re:Unsigned (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411678)

(Before you flame me for not being politically correct, my heritage is Irish and my hair was blonde as a kid)

How many Irishmen does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Three: one to hold the bulb and two to drink until the room spins.

How many blondes does it take?
Three, one to hold the bulb and two to turn the ladder... oh you heard that one already?

How many women does it take to change a light bulb? None, they just ask a man to do it for them.

How many psychaitrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the bulb has to want to change.

How many hookers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Hookers are too large to fit in a light bulb

How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
THAT'S NOT FUNNY ASSHOLE!

Okay... (2, Insightful)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411050)

Seems like a good idea. Although like someone else- I'm amazed that the DOE actually cares about something like this...

Right now- LED lighting is great for some applications, especially portable lighting, automotive/truck lighting, and small things like night/marker lights in the home. It is ridiculously expensive for home lighting, even when you consider the lifespan of the lamp assemblies. Then again- CFL lights used to cost 3-4x what they do now too, so maybe cheaper manufacturing processes can be developed.

Money Well Spent (2, Interesting)

organgtool (966989) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411076)

This is really something worth looking into. LED's are much more power efficient (which means they also give off less heat) and last much longer (need less replacing) than our current forms of lighting (incandescent, CCFL, etc). Car manufacturers such as Nissan are already starting to replace bulbs in their taillights with LED's. The only downsides I can see people complaining about are the fact that LED's are more directional than other forms of lighting and some may have issues with the shade of color they produce.

Now if our government would start looking into algae to power vehicles it would show that they're really interested in finding alternate and more efficient ways of powering our everyday devices.

Re:Money Well Spent (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411292)

The main problem I have with the LEDs that car makers are using now in brake lights is that they FLICKER, at about 60Hz. That is especially annoying at night, where the contrast between the blinking light and the environment is much greater.

Hint: the power in a car is DC, if you need to pulse the LED to get more brightness, please use something above 250Hz, preferably >1KHz.

Re:Money Well Spent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411696)

Here's a simple solution. Face them backwards and then use a parabolic reflector to get the direction you would like. :) Also, the light covers act as diffusers anyway, reducing the directionality of the lights currently used and giving it the glow that we all love and know as gridlock traffic.

My holy grail (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411164)

As far as solid-state lighting goes, I'll be impressed when they can create a cost-effective replacement for stagelights. I work with a variety of stagelights on a regular basis, the most common of which use 500-1000 watt halogen bulbs. If they can create a replacement that provides similar characteristics (dimming, lumens, color, etc) but use less power and generate less heat then I'll really be impressed.

Re:My holy grail (1)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411404)

That would be great. One of the main reasons that amateur films look so crappy (aside from the acting) is the poor lighting. It's the one thing that digital technology doesn't really help with. Maybe LED lighting will make it more practical to do some decent lighting for amateur films.

There is still research to be done on this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411228)

As much as I agree with everyone that wishes there was more action involved in this announcement. I looked pretty deeply into LED technology about a year ago when the first (hyper-expensive) LED lightbulbs hit the market. There are serious drawbacks to the initial consumer generation of LED bulbs. The light was actually too focused because of the use of chip-borne micro-LEDs arranged in clusters. The tightly packed nature of the micro-LED clusters produced too much heat, and that heat also lead to durability/longevity/safety issues.

If they are spending this money on research to develop high efficiency LEDs and OLEDs that produce significantly less heat (while developing high economy production techniques in tandem, i.e. so we can buy them cheap when they hit the market), I think this is totally worth it.

I changed over my entire house to CF bulbs over 2 years ago, and have only needed to replace 2 of them since then (both larger higher output outdoor bulbs). I don't want to buy into home LED lighting until the products are more reliable, last even longer AND are even more efficient than CF bulbs, while also providing a traditional spread/focus of light at an appropriate color temperature.

LEDs should be able to produce nearly any visible color temperature without a problem, but their output temp is based on how they are manufactured, so don't expect so see any that you can adjust manually somehow. But there is the potential to select your preferred color temp when you are buying them, kind of like buying "soft white", etc. Incandescent/CF bulbs. LED bulbs are also naturally well suited to applications that involve dimmers, their color temp is dependent on how they are manufactured (filament material/casing material) so they don't change color as energy input changes, only output intensity changes and unlike CFs they don't require a ballast of any kind so they have no minimum output threshold under which they won't even come on.

Trust me LEDs are frickin sweet, they have the potential, but there surely is still research to be done to make them even better (approaching perfect actually!) and I for one am willing to wait a little while longer for the next couple of generations to be designed and produced before I invest in them. If the DOE wants to invest in this research I am all for it!

already happening (2, Insightful)

scrout (814004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411240)

Uh, just a little late with our money. There is a huge push into this technology already. I am aware of a major plant underway in China as we speak. The money would be better spent on incentives or converting govt spaces.

The Future- Photonic Bandgap Materials (1)

DrLudicrous (607375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411366)

The ultimate future of solid state lighting resides in a combination of two existing/developing technologies. The first is the LED, already in commercial production, which will continue to be refined with respect to spectral output. The second is a technology that is mostly still in the lab- visible spectrum photonic bandgap materials. Basically, these are kind of "perfect reflectors". By creating an LED in a photonic bandgap material, reabsorption of emitted photons would be eliminated, or at the very least steeply curbed. This would increase the effective efficiency of the LED, giving you more light for the same amount of electrical energy. It would make lighting incredibly inexpensive with regards to energy usage, but the when the combination of LEDs and PBG materials comes out, it will be very expensive, just as with any new technology. It will eventually prove superior to other lighting paradigms due to longevity (how often do LEDs burn out?) and operational costs, especially for industrial users whose premises use a lot of light 24 hours a day.

Why not just admit you were wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22411424)

"The links you have provided are to professional observatories."

Which all do astronomy. Which you claim has been "ruined". A claim, by the way, that you have yet to admit was wrong.

And you didn't miss "specifying amateur astronomy". You chose not to, and instead chose to overstate the situation and apply it as generally as possible for maximum coercive value.

You are the worst kind of liar, the kind that attempts to couch his lies in truth. Even your current lie is false however, as I personally looked at the moon last week. I am an amateur, and the light did not ruin my activity, so your statement about amateur astronomy is just as false.

captcha is : pathetic (clearly referring to you and your inability to avoid lying and hyperbole, as well as your failure to admit you were caught making shit up)
Despite that, your ego will never permit you to admit you were wrong, no matter how I prove it to you. You are simply to small minded t be able to admit lying like you did.

My Science Project (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22411594)

Bob Roberts: This device is producing light and energy without heat.
Michael 'Mike' Harlan: How is that possible?
Bob Roberts: It's not possible. At least, not on this planet.
Vince Latello: Woah, what other planets are we talking about?
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